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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 10 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 11, 2008

Henry fears Barca have blunted him

Thierry Henry fears being played out of position at Barcelona this season could limit his effectiveness for France at this summer's European Championships. The former Arsenal striker has been deployed on the left wing for most of his first season at Barca by coach Frank Rijkaard. Henry admits he is not suited to such a role but is willing to continue as a wide midfielder if asked to by Rijkaard. But the 30-year-old is worried he may have trouble adjusting to life back as a striker when the Euros come around in June. 'This could be a problem, I have to be honest,' he said. 'Against Spain in Malaga in February, I lost all my bearings in the middle. I was lost in all the calls, all the runs. 'And in front of goal, I no longer position myself in the same way, I no longer have the same reflexes. So that can create a problem. 'I hope that between the end of the season with Barcelona and the start of the Euros, I have the chance to play back in the middle during France's preparation games and that I can again make my mark in this position.' Henry was a frequent scorer for Arsenal during his eight years with the London club but he has found the back of the net just seven times for Barca in his debut Primera Liga season. He admits he is never going to be able to repeat his Premier League exploits in Spain while playing on the wing. 'It is impossible to compare this with what I did at Arsenal - you just can't,' he added in an interview with L'Equipe. 'If (star France basketball guard) Tony Parker suddenly played as a centre instead of a team leader, are you going to have a go at him for not making rebounds and making less passes? 'But the most important thing in football is to play for the team.' Henry was heavily criticised in the Spanish press for his display in Barca's 1-0 win over Schalke in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final. The Spaniards will play Manchester United in the last four. United are top of the Premier League and look in prime form in Europe, but their recent 2-2 league draw with Middlesbrough proved they are not flawless. Barca, meanwhile, have not been at their best in the Primera Liga and struggled - against all expectations - to get past Schalke. But Henry said: 'A lot of teams would love to be in our position. But it is true, we can do a lot better. 'United? Middlesbrough showed us that it was possible to trouble them and score against them. 'Nobody knows where the two teams will be in two weeks' time. We have (Carles) Puyol suspended. But others may find their form, others are going to return, like (Lionel) Messi and Deco for us, and then we could be the same as them. 'But it is true, we have to go up a level if we are going to eliminate them.'